Catalent to Buy Bristol-Myers' Factory in Italy, Adding to Latest String of Expansions


Contract research organization (CRO) Catalent plans to buy Bristol-Myers Squibb’s manufacturing and packaging factory in Anagni, Italy. The plant is used to manufacture oral solid, biologics and sterile products.

The facility has acted as one of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s primary launch facilities for new drugs. After the deal is closed, Catalent will continue to manufacture Bristol-Myers Squibb’s current product portfolio at that location.

No financial terms were disclosed. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Anagni, Italy site employs about 700 people.

“We believe that the sale to Catalent will continue the vital role the Anagni facility plays for its workforce, the community and patients,” stated Lou Schmukler, president, Global Product Development and Supply, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This marks an important step in the ongoing evolution of our manufacturing network to support the company’s innovative product portfolio. Bristol-Myers Squibb has a long history in Italy, and we intend to maintain a continued strategic presence in Italy, which is critical for our ability to deliver transformational medicines to patients.”

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Catalent has recently been very aggressive in its growth strategy. On May 20, the company completed the acquisition of Paragon Bioservices for $1.2 billion. Paragon is a viral vector development and manufacturing company for gene therapies. Catalent noted at the time that the market for gene therapies is potentially $40 billion and the Paragon acquisition offers significant expertise and capacity for that business.

Paragon had recently opened a new, state-of-the-art commercial manufacturing facility near the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport. That facility came with several 500-liter and 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors for clinical through commercial production. That production campus recently leased a second building that will be built out for commercial GMP manufacturing. It has the potential for more than 425,000 square feet of manufacturing space when it’s done.

Paragon had GMP manufacturing projects ongoing with more than 20 of the top 40 leading gene therapy developers globally. Paragon employed over 380 people at its two Baltimore-area sites. They will all join the existing Catalent company that has more than 11,000 staffers.

In April, Catalent announced plans to expand its turnkey softgel capabilities at its Eberbach, Germany facility. It’s investing $14 million into the expansion, which will be completed in the middle of 2020. It will include two new softgel encapsulation lines solely for Catalent’s proprietary Vegicaps technology. The company indicates the expansion is needed because of the increased global demand for animal-free consumer health products. The new lines will be completed by September 2019.

The investment includes new printing technology, a vision inspection system, expansion of the site’s softgel coating capabilities, and more packaging capacity.

The facility is 360,000 square feet and handles prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, nutritional supplements, medical devices and animal health products. It also specializes in handling highly potent and cytotoxic compounds utilizing an isolated, self-contained cytotoxic suite.

“The Eberbach facility is our biggest softgel development and manufacturing facility in Europe with a capacity of more than 10 billion softgel capsules per year,” stated Raoul Bernhardt, general manager of the Eberbach site. “This investment reflects the importance of the site and will enable us to better serve our customers with increased volumes and turnkey services.”

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